The tragic loss of corals to this unprecedented heatwave is a terrible illustration of the impact of unchecked climate change on our planet's life support systems.
It has never been more important to give young people the tools they need to meet the impending challenges of the world we are handing to them.
At CRF™ we are doing just that.
This summer, three renowned organizations—Sea Base, Travel for Teens, and West Coast Connections—have joined forces with Coral Restoration Foundation™ (CRF™) to host recurring summer camps in Florida. These camps bring together teenagers from various parts of the country and the world, providing them with an immersive learning experience about Florida's underwater ecosystems.
Sea Base and the Boy Scouts
Sea Base, the Boy Scout high adventure camp in Florida, offers an expanded educational program each summer. In addition to their traditional activities, Sea Base and CRF™ have presentations and a two-day dive program for Boy Scouts and their families. The program includes an engaging night-time presentation, followed by a day of diving in the nursery and a captivating reef dive at Alligator Reef. On the second day, participants embark on two reef dives, providing an incredible opportunity to explore Florida’s marine wonders. Their reef dives activities include outplanting, site monitoring, and fun dives to explore the vast reefscape. In early July, thanks to the help of the Boy Scouts, CRF™ met the outplanting goals for Alligator Reef with an incredible 404 corals returned to the wild. This initiative aims to enhance the campers' knowledge and experience of the ecosystem, making their summer adventure even more unforgettable.
Even though many of these corals are currently struggling to survive this summer’s unprecedented water temperatures, the experience of working to restore this ecosystem will last a lifetime for these passionate young people.
West Coast Connections
The West Coast Connections program in the Florida Keys is an incredible opportunity for students from diverse backgrounds to come together and learn about conservation efforts in this stunning region. Collaborating with Coral Restoration Foundation™, the program includes two days of edutainment workshops that immerse participants in the world of coral reefs and the CRF™ mission to save and restore them.
On the first day, students engage in interactive presentations and workshop activities, gaining knowledge about coral ecosystems and understanding our restoration initiatives.
The excitement continues the second day with a morning snorkel trip to the Tavernier Coral Tree Nursery (the world’s largest in -situ coral nursery!) and exploring Pickles Reef, where participants witness firsthand CRF™ restoration efforts and the impact of restoration on the underwater environment.
In the afternoon, they delve deeper into restoration techniques and learn how to become responsible ocean stewards. By combining education, hands-on experiences, and environmental awareness, the West Coast Connections program and CRF™ empower students to make a difference in the preservation of our oceans. This immersive journey fosters a lifelong commitment to environmental conservation and sustainability.
These programs are about more than the corals, they are about empowering the next generation of ocean stewards.
Travel for Teens
The Travel for Teens program in the Florida Keys is an extraordinary opportunity for students worldwide to embark on a unique adventure while discovering the beauty of Southern Florida and engaging in conservation efforts. CRF™ offers this group a three-day experience combining education, entertainment, and restoration workshops.
CRF™ hosts an enlightening series of workshops where students dive into the world of coral reefs. They learn about the importance of conservation, restoration techniques, and CRF's ongoing efforts to protect these fragile ecosystems. One of the highlights of the program is a morning snorkel trip to the Carysfort Coral Tree Nursery and Carysfort Reef, one of our landmark restoration sites. Participants witness the astounding transformation and the positive impact these restoration projects have on coral and marine life.
Through the Florida Keys Travel for Teens program, students not only gain knowledge and appreciation for the environment but also become advocates for preserving our oceans. It is an enriching experience that broadens their horizons and instills a sense of responsibility as stewards of our natural world.
HEAD'S UP CONTENT CREATOR
Julia Padilla is from California and went to Oregon State University where she majored in Zoology. She has had an interest in coral conservation ever since she got her Open Water certification in Indonesia.
She also enjoys long walks in the intertidal, identifying marine invertebrates. She wants to educate others about coral and conservation efforts.